What’s Hot in October

October for many means fright nights and Halloween but for others it also means a day of reflection and sombre remembrance of lost loved ones at the Dia Di Los Meurtos festival in Mexico and for something completely different, October is synonymous with one of the biggest Beer Festivals in the world: Germany’s mighty Oktoberfest!

Munich’s Oktoberfest is twelve days of craziness in which Germans throw off the shackles of their sensible stereotype with the help of millions of litres of beer. Justine Shapiro tries her hand as a barmaid at this massive event but fails; instead she joins the revellers for fun, fairground amusements and, of course, lashings of beer.

Autumn brings with it another busy season, this time in Nepal which is home of the mighty and ultimately humbling Mount Everest the highest mountain on Earth, with a peak at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level.

There are two main climbing routes, one approaching the summit from the south-east in Nepal (known as the standard route) and the other from the north in Tibet. While not posing substantial technical climbing challenges on the standard route, Everest presents other dangers that you must be aware of such as altitude sickness, weather, hazards from avalanches and the Khumbu Icefall.

It’s among the most popular trekking areas in Nepal and the best time to visit is now. By mid-October through to December the weather is usually stable with mild to warm days, cold nights and clear views.

If it’s tales of ghastly horror you are after then we’ve got the granddaddy of all tales – Count DraculaIan Wright travels to Transylvania in Romania, and learns about the truth behind the legend while Justine Shapiro takes ghostly tours in the town of Whitby, Northern England where Bram Stoker set his Dracula novel.

Continuing on our supernatural theme, we join Ian Wright in Mexico to the traditional Indian village of Pazcuaro, for a brush with the living and dead at this ancient pagan Day of the Dead Festival. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), is a ceremony that occurs at midnight every November 1st in Patzcuaro, and is well worth experiencing.

Zaynin Kanji